Hau’ula Loop Trail

This hike has been on my list to try for a long time, and I’m glad we got to enjoy it today with our friends. It’s a great hike for families – 2.5 miles roundtrip (it’s a lollipop route) with 0.1 to the trail head (thus adding 0.2 to the “official” distance). The hike gains about 600 ft in elevation if you do the route in a clockwise fashion (recommended) and some good views along the way. We had five kids, ages 26 months through 7 years. Even the youngest did nearly all of the hike, so it is well within reach for even the newbie hiker.

Treachery: Very little. Use good sense about reminding kids to stay away from edges with steep drop-offs to the side.
Sun exposure: 95% shady!
Lunch spot: The second ridge viewpoint is just short of haflway if your hikers are looking for a snack break. We opted for hanging out in the dense Cook Pine forest at 1.4 miles into the hike.
Exertion: Decent – 600′ of elevation and 2.7 miles of walking will take most young hikers at least 2-2.5 hours.

Trailhead: Drive up the windward coast to mile marker 23, then start looking carefully for Hau’ula Beach park on your right. As soon as you see the beach park, get ready to go left onto Maakua Rd. Drive to the end and park on the right by the gate (note parking is very limited so beach park might be a good backup plan). Walk up spur road 0.1 mi to trailhead on right.

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